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TO those who are anxious to excel in any of the higher kinds of oratory, nothing is more necessary than to cultivate habits of the several virtues, and to refine and improve their moral feelings. A true orator must possess generous sentiments, warm feel. ings, and a mind turned toward admiration of those great and high objects which men are by nature formed to venerate. Connected with the manly vir, tues; he should possess strong and tender sensibility to all the injuries, distresses, and sorrows of his fellow,


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Next to moral qualifications, what is most requisite for an orator, is a fund of knowledge. There is no art by which eloquence can be taught in any sphere, without a sufficient acquaintance with what belongs to that sphere. Attention to the ornaments of style can only assist an orator in setting off to advantage the stock of materials which he possesses; t but the materials themselves must be derived from other sources than from rhetoric. A pleader must make himself completely, acquainted with the law; he must possess all that learning and experience which can be useful for supporting a cause, or convincing a judge. preacher must apply himself closely to the study of


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divinity, of practical religion, of morals, and of hu man nature; that he may be rich in all topics of instruction and persuasion. He who wishes to excel in the supreme council of the nation, or in any public assembly, should be thoroughly acquainted with the business that belongs to such assembly; and should attend with accuracy to all the facts which may be the subject of question or deliberation.

Beside the knowledge peculiar to his profession, a public speaker should be acquainted with the general circle of polite literature. Poetry he will find useful for embellishing his style, for suggesting lively images, or pleasing illusions. History may be still more advantageous; as the knowledge of facts, of eminent characters, and of the course of human affairs, finds place on many occasions. Deficiency of knowledge even in subjects not immediately connected with his profession, will expose a public speaker to many disadvantages, and give his rivals, who are better qua lified, a descided superiority.

To every one who wishes to excel in eloquence, application and industry cannot be too much recommend. ed. Without this it is impossible to excel in any thing. No one ever became a distinguished pleader, or preacher, or speaker in any assembly, without previous labour and application. Industry indeed is not only necessary to every valuable acquisition, but it is designed by Providence as the seasoning of every pleasure, without

which life is doomed to languish. No enemy is so de structive both to honourable attainments, and to the real and spirited enjoyment of life, as that relaxed state of mind, which proceeds from indolence and dissipation. He who is destined to excel in any art, will be distin guished by enthusiasm for that art; which, firing his mind with the object in view, will dispose him to relish every necessary labour. This was the characteristic of the great men of antiquity; and this must distinguish moderns who wish to imitate them. This honourable enthusiasm should be cultivated by students in oratory. If it be wanting to youth, manhood will flag exceeding. ly.

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Attention to the best models contributes greatly to improvement in the arts of speaking and writing. Every one indeed should endeavour to have something that is his own, that is peculiar to himself, and will distinguish his style.. Genius is certainly depressed, or want of it betrayed, by stavish imitation. Yet no genius is so original, as not to receive improvement from proper examples in style, composition, and delivery. They always afford some new ideas, and serve to`enlarge and correct our own. They quicken the current of thought, and excite emulation.

In imitating the style of a favourite author, a material distinction should be observed between written and spoken language. These are in reality two different modes of communicating ideas. In books we expect

correctness, precision, and all redundancies pruned, all repetitions avoided, language. completely polished. Speaking allows a more easy, copious style, and less confined by rule; repetitions may often be requisite ; parentheses may sometimes be ornamental; the same thought must often be placed in different points of view; since the hearers can catch it only from the mouth of the speaker, and have not the opportunity, as in reading, of turning back again, and of contemplating what they do not entirely comprehend.. Hence the style of many good authors would appear stiff, affected, and even obscure, if transferred into a popular, oration. How unnatural, for instance, would Lord Shaftesbury's sentences sound in the mouth of a public speaker? Some kinds of public discourse indeed, such as that of the pulpit, where more accurate preparation and more studied style are allowable, would admit such a manner better than others, which are expected to approach nearer to extemporaneous speaking. But still there is generally such a difference between a composition, intended only to be read, and one proper to be spoken, as should caution, us against a close and improper imita


The composition of some authors approaches nearer to the style of speaking than that of others, and they may therefore be imitated with more safety. In our \own language, Swift and Bolingbroke are of this description. The former, though correct, preserves the

easy and natural manner of an unaffected speaker. The style of the latter is more splendid; but still it is the style of speaking, or rather of declamation.

Frequent exercise both in composing and speaking is a necessary mean of improvement. That kind of composition is most useful which is connected with the profession, or sort of public speaking, to which per sons devote themselves. This they should ever keep in view, and gradually inure themselves to it. At the same time they should be cautious not to allow themselves to compose negligently on any occasion. He who wishes to write or speak correctly, should in the most trivial kind of composition, in writing a letter, or even in common conversation, study to express himself with propriety. By this we do not mean that he is ne ver to write or speak, but in elaborate and artificial language. This would introduce stiffness and affectation, infinitely worse than the greatest negligence. But we must observe, that there is in every thing a proper and becoming manner; and on the contrary, there is also an awkward performance of the same thing. The becoming manner is often the most light, and seemingly most careless; but taste and attention are requisite to seize the just idea of it. That idea, when acquired, should be kept in view, and upon it should be formed, whatever we write or speak.

Exercises in speaking have always been recommended to students; and, when under proper regulation,

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